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Challenge: Open Discussion

Catering to the Kids, Made Fun and Easy

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When hosting an event, the food that will be served is a very important aspect. Deciding what will be on the menu always presents a challenge. What would my guests eat? Are any of my guests’ vegetarian or vegan? Do any of my guests have food allergies? And finally, will kids be present?

If the answer to the last question is yes, this poses another challenge all together. Most kids are picky and if everything served looks funky, they probably won’t even try it. Simplicity and familiarity is what you should stick to when keeping the kids fed.

Hot dogs are simple and well known to your younger guests. The lack of complexity of the dog gives you the chance to dress them up and make them special for your event. Just remember not to change their appearance too much. If the kids can’t recognize them as hot dogs, your efforts are wasted. Hot dogs also come in vegetarian and vegan options if that is necessary to please your guests.

Pizza is a dish everyone will know and want. Turning pizza slices into bite size poppers makes this food more party friendly. The kids will be able to handle the poppers more easily because of the smaller form. Having only cheese filled ones with sauce will also give you a vegetarian option.

Pasta is another recognizable food and a favorite among kids. Macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, stroganoff and buttered shells with garlic are a few classic pasta dishes you can’t go wrong with. Tortellini can be stacked on a stick for pasta that’s more on the go and fun to handle. Noodles are easily manipulated to make a new and tasty creation of your own. You can do either a cold or hot dish; with pasta your possibilities are limitless.

Sandwiches and wraps are great for handling and making different versions for diverse tastes. They aren’t as messy as other foods and children can hold them easier. You can even cut them into halves or fourths for an even easier hold.

You can put a variety of meats and cheeses together to meet everyone’s preferences. Peanut butter and jelly is another way to fill a sandwich. You can make a spin on this classic by using different flavored jellies or adding fruit and nuts. Banana and strawberries are popular or strawberry jelly goes well with peanut butter.

Trail mix is an easy snack you can also play around with. There are standard ingredients to trail mix such as nuts, dried fruit, pretzels, popcorn, chips, crackers, and chocolate. You can mix any of the above foods the way you want and call it Trail mix.

Chocolate or caramel chips are a good way to get the kids interested and munching on this dish. Cheese, sour cream and onion, jalapeno, or caramel chips and crackers can add a lot of flavor to your mix. Remember to keep in mind of allergies when involving nuts. Whatever you choose to combine to make your trail mix is up to you.

As for dessert, ice cream is an easy option that most kids love. You can have different flavors and topping options, so the kids can enjoy their favorite kind. Syrups, crumbles, or even fresh fruit are great ways to livin up this kid-friendly dessert option.

Cookies are another dessert where kids can enjoy they’re favorite. They offer variety and easy management when eating. Chocolate chip, sugar, peanut butter, M&M, and snickerdoodle are kinds popular among kids.

As for drinks, you could go the soda route, but don’t forget about powdered drink mixes. They come in a variety of flavors to satisfy everyone’s desires. By putting them in pitchers you can show off their vibrant colors making the decision more fun. Frozen, fruit concentrates are a more natural substitute that would keep the fun, bright color aspect.

Depending on the time of year, you can continue the color fun with ice pops. Ice pops or popsicles are a great way to keep the kids cool and busy. They’ll have fun trying new flavors without filling up too much before the main course.

Any of these ideas will work for serving kids at your next event. Anything that kids will recognize and have already tried is safe to serve. If you’re still having trouble figuring out what to serve your younger guests, ask your own kids. They let you know what’s good and give you even more ideas to work with!

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